This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
In previous articles I have often talked about digital tools that I use in my private and business life. The main advantages of these programs are, among other things, the fast entry of tasks or notes, as well as their availability on all mobile devices through cloud technology.
But despite all the obvious advantages, these often tempt you to be even faster and more productive.
Fascination paper – whether writing or reading. We cannot or do not want to do without it. The hatish feeling of a book page, the sound when you run your finger over the paper or turn the page, conveys a feeling of value and craftsmanship. Text passages can either be colour-coded with highlighters or provided with sticky notes for faster searching. This makes analogue media still very attractive.
A blank sheet of paper is like an unpainted picture. It gets created during the work, leaves maximum room for creativity and everyone is able to read it without a computer or smartphone. And, you take your time – probably the most significant difference.
Statistics verify this. While e-book readers had their peak in sales in 2013, a continuous decline in sold devices can be observed in the years thereafter. In contrast, sales figures for books remain constant or increase.
I like working with digital tools and at the same time there is a great danger that you will be overwhelmed by your never-ending lists and tasks. Every day new tasks are added, your list grows and grows and despite the greatest efforts during the day, the list never gets empty. And because of the vast amount of unfinished tasks, the exact opposite happens to you: you learn to ignore digital tasks more easily.
Analogue tools are not intended to replace digital ones, but they should help you to concentrate better on the essential. Think of it as a kind of fusion kitchen – the best of 2 worlds!
The Bullet Journal is my current analogue companion in my digital world.
The Bullet Journal was developed by Ryder Caroll, a product designer and author. Early in life, Ryder Caroll was diagnosed as having difficulty learning. In order to remain focused and productive, he therefore developed an alternative method: the art of living intentionally.
Although Bullet Journaling requires a journal (a kind of diary), the method itself is most likely to be about practicing mindfulness in life. It is designed to help you organize your “what” while remaining clear about your “why. The goal of the Bullet Journal is to help the “users” live a purposeful life that is both productive and meaningful.
The methodology is based on the following system:
- Tasks, notes and events are distinguished by defined symbols (dots for open tasks, crosses for completed tasks, hyphen for notes and circles for appointments etc.)
- Rapid logging”, which corresponds to a keystroke-like writing method, reduces the written content by up to 60%. This helps to capture your ideas more quickly.
- Information is kept in a daily journal (Daily Log), the monthly overview (Monthly Log) or in forthcoming periods (Future Log).
- Tasks, can be “migrated”, i.e. transferred, from one day (or month) to another. This forces you to decide whether tasks are important at all.
- In an index (similar to a table of contents) you can refer to pages (projects, topics, etc.) within your book or even reference other bullet journals (so-called “threading”).
So the Bullet Journal uses a framework and core methods that are easy for the user to get started very quickly. You can start without much previous knowledge and do nothing wrong. Over the next weeks and months your requirements will change, but Bullet Journal is extremely flexible and allows you to easily implement your changes at any time.
Links und sources
https://www.leuchtturm1917.ch/bullet-journal.html (Leuchtturm 1917 provides Bullet Journals out of the box according to the method of Ryder Caroll.
ISBN-10: 349963340X (German version)
ISBN-10: 0525533338 (English version)
Analog (by Ugmonk)
The company Ugmonk https://ugmonk.com/, which is very much concerned with aesthetic and functional objects, has set itself the goal of inventing the simplest and most productive analogue system that is also beautiful to look at.
Jeff Sheldon, founder of Ugmonk, combines different methods (GTD – Getting Things Done, Bullet Journal etc.) and extracts the best of these systems in physical cards that some of us still do know from our school days.
According to Jeff, digital apps are great for capturing information, but often they don’t help us make these things happen.
We all believe that we can accomplish more in a day than is actually possible.
The limitations deliberately imposed by the analogue system force us to do the few but important things you have to do every day.
No more endless lists or productivity guilt. The state of not emptying todo list managers, gives us a guilty conscience and makes us feel unproductive and causes stress and hecticness in us.
Analogue is an analogue companion for your digital tools, allowing you to set priorities and concentrate on the most important tasks.
It helps reduce digital distractions – you see what you need to do at a glance in front of you.
Similar to the Bullet Journal, it is based on a simple and repeatable method. The system can be easily and quickly adapted to your particular way of working.
Many tools, available on the market, make you feel that you have to do extra work, for example, to set up the system and maintain it. We all long for a tool that is self-explanatory and easy to use.
- TODAY cards In these cards you write down up to 10 tasks for each day. Using symbols, e.g.
- filled circle for completed tasks
- half-filled circle for work you are currently working on
- Arrow inside the circle for tasks you have delegated
- Circle with cross for dates
- NEXT cards Important tasks that you can no longer perform today, however, write on the NEXT card. The tasks on the NEXT card help you to determine the next tasks on your Today card.
- SOMEDAY cards Ideas, aspirations and goals that you would like to tackle at some point are put on the SOMEDAY map. After a few weeks you will evaluate them again to see if they are still relevant
After Jeff Sheldon successfully launched his Kickstarter project (congratualions again) to realize his dream of a simple analog system, I will also have the opportunity to personally test ANALOG in October 2020.
But I would like to share a few more impressions with you.
Links and sources
Special thanks to Jeff Sheldon. Jeff sent me the product images for this article.
I think that in our world today, we should no longer do without digital programmes. The effort to implement a completely analog system is too big to replace a digital system.
But analog systems can help us a lot to focus on what is important and to concentrate on the tasks we have set as our goal for the day.
Give yourself a try…